State Racial Profiling Reports Offer Mixed Results


Members of Congress soon will introduce a bill requiring police officers to record the driver’s race at traffic stops or risk losing federal funds, reports Newsweek. The magazine says that results of studies in 18 states already collecting data are mixed. Drivers aren’t always stopped where they live; comparing the data with Census figures isn’t exact. A 2002 Missouri report said blacks were 40 percent more likely to be stopped than whites, but cautioned that variables such as high-crime areas could skew the tally. Officers guess at the driver’s race. Arab- Americans may be marked “white” or “other.” Alexander Weiss of Northwestern University’s Center for Public Safety says, “You never can get into the mind of an officer.”


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